Friday, March 5, 2010

My big, early birthday present that "You can put things in...."

What interesting days the last 3 have been--filled with everything from big, joyous surprises to little tears of disappointment...

Wednesday morning, I knew very little of the plans that my family had made for a fun day spent in town, but I soon learned more....

Mother, Jacob and I headed for Bismarck and, while I was driving and Mother was looking at a book, the first surprise of the day slipped out and I found out that we were meeting my dear friend, Miranda in town and that we would spend the day together with her! Mother had some sessions to do at her office, so we dropped her off there and then Jacob gave me directions to the nearest ice skating rink and he and I went there to play some 2-person hockey. :) We were on the ice for about an hour and half and then went in the van to thaw out. A few minutes passed and then, joy of joys--Miranda pulled up along side of us! A big hug later, Jacob and I hopped in her car and she drove us to the library to drop off some books and then stopped in at a Christian book store and bought a copy of "No Greater Love"--which I soon found out was to be my birthday present!!!! How sweet of her! Now we get to watch it finally. :)

After picking Mother up, she and Jacob paid for us to go out to eat at Taco Johns (one of my favorite places to go if we're going to go out to eat...) About this time, I started to not feel so well, but just tried to ignore it--which worked for a while.

Later in the afternoon, we went to look at the things that go in the birthday present that you put things in, and I tried to pick from the many different kinds....... However, we learned that we needed to wait a week to get these "Things" as the big item needed to be set up before moving these things into it.

As this is getting very confusing even for me, I think I'll just show you what my big birthday present was!

Here "It" is--after we got it set up this afternoon in the living room:
YAY! I had mentioned to my family that one thing I'd really like for my birthday was a goldfish to put in the little bowl I have. They surprised me with a much better environment for a lot more fish. :) They've even set up a "Fish Fund" so I can get started! The guy my family bought the aquarium from also included a box full of additional items that are needed to keep the tank clean and running smoothly--plus all the decorations, so it's been fun going through that and getting everything set up. Now I just need to decide what kind of fish to buy...
But, back to Wednesday... I found out pretty quickly that Miranda was going to be coming home with us to spend a couple days at our farm! Our families only live about 75 miles apart, but we don't get to see each other very often, so I was really looking forward to a couple of late night talks with my friend! But, by the time Miranda and I got to our house at 7:00, (Mom and Jacob came later--after stopping at the Sam's Club) I was not feeling well at all, as you may or may not be able to tell from this picture!

Miranda spent the night in the living room actually and was so sweet to help with chores so I could rest. By the time I woke up at 10:00AM the next morning, I felt almost well again and had recovered fully by the afternoon. Thank you for your prayers!!! Now if you'd pray for the others, that would be much appreciated also, as my parents feel sick now and I'm praying hard that Miranda's family doesn't get this too!!!!!
Last night, Miranda and I got to have a late night talk, so we were both very glad for that time together. She left at 8:30 this morning, as she had a cleaning job to do at a friends' house. Here we are together with the cake my mom bought at Sam's... Mother doesn't like to ask me to bake a cake for my own birthday--so she bought a pretty cake to insure that I wouldn't. :) Thanks for the treat, Mother B!
Oh yes, I wanted to mention that Jacob spent some of his hard earned money on:
...a new guitar! He's pretty happy now too.
There's much more I could write (and will try to tell about another day), but it's getting very late here once again and I'm very much ready for a good nights rest. You too???


Rachel said...

Well, this should be a loooong reply. ;) HeHe!

First, I am soo glad you are feeling better now dear and could enjoy your friend being with you! :D I'll pray hard that your family and Miranda's does not get sick. :( I can tell from the makes me want to tell you to go rest and tuck you in your bed. ;) So happy that you could get some rest. :) That was sweet of Miranda to help with chores. :)

I LOVE your new fish tank! :D I actually new about it. :) Your mom told me...I'm "in the club" now. ;) HeHe! I love where it's situated...lovely! :D I am glad you could get just what you wanted for your birthday dear. :) Hope you will be able to get some friendly little fishies soon to go in it! :D

Wow, your family was very sneaky this year! ;D Lol! :D I'm glad you could enjoy most of your time with Miranda. :) That's special that she could come for a little visit. :)

Lol! My mom doesn't like me to make my birthday dessert/cake either. ;) But I like to do it sometimes. :) All the fun is in the decorating after all, not the eating of it. ;) HeHe! I'm not sure what I want to have for my birthday yet. ;) It's so hard to decide! :D Lol!

The cake your mom bought looks lovely and really tasty though! :D I can't stand most store bought cakes around here...either they are far too expensive (as we live in the city so everything gets marked up in price), or they just look sloppy and have that fake frosting taste. :P So I like to make my own. ;) Or have something else. :)

Jacob's guitar looks great! :D That's nice that he was able to get it. :) And that sounded like fun being able to go to the ice skating rink and play. :D (although, I find it kind of hard to imagine you playing hockey with him). ;) HeHe!

Well, I bett go dear. :) I am glad you had such a lovely time with your family and dear friend for your birthday! :D

Love you and have a Blessed day!
(and I'll be praying!)

Rachel said...

Oh, and the movie "No Greater Love" that Miranda gave you..I just watched a trailer of it..and it looks really good (another fireproof/facing the giants kind of good) so you'll have to let me know how you like it when you've watched it. ;)

Anyone who wants to see the trailer can see it here...


Hannah said...

Dear Cora,
That must have been such a fun surprise!
I like your gift that you can put things in!
I want to get a little fish sometime too. I think it would pretty in a little bowl on my dresser or on our piano.
Yes, I can tell you were not feeling well in that picture- I am so glad you are doing better! Your birthday is pretty. It reminds me of one that my sisters made me on my golden birthday when I was turning 11. It was yellow with basket weave around it and it had purple and pink roses in the center.
Jacob's guitar is nice. My brother's and I saw it on his blog too.
I want to eventually get my own guitar but right now I am saving up for rechargeable batteries and a battery charger =D.
Yes, my thumb is feeling better. I can type with it now and move it with only a little bit of pain and it feels a little bit stiff too. No, I did not have to duct-tape it =D!

About the maple syrup: we will get aprx. 1 1/2 gallons from 55 gallons of sap. It is about a 40 to 1
ratio, but it varies depending on the sugar level of the sap.

Well I need to get somethings done (including finishing a card I am making :) before we head out to the baby shower!
Love you too!

Hannah said...

I meant to say your "birthday cake"!! But I hope you have a "pretty birthday" tomorrow too!!!
Ha ha!

Cora Beth said...

Long comments--Hooray! :)

Rachel dear~
You knew about my fish tank?!?! I guess you really are in the know these days! :) I can hardly wait to get some "Friendly Fishies" to put in the tank... It's been really fun to set it up, but it all looks a little lonely without occupants!

Yes, Miranda's a sweetie. You would like her too! I'm trying to encourage her to start a blog, but she's a very busy sister to 10 siblings (plus helps a midwife) and doesn't think she'd have time, but we'll see...

I wish you well as you try to decide what cake or dessert to have for your birthday. ;) No-bake cheesecake is one of our absolute favorites too! It was nice to have a store-bought cake this year, as then I could see that those cakes aren't perfect either. :) I'm often very critical of my cakes, but thankfully my family and customers don't seem to see what I see... My birthday cake had a very heavy layer of frosting on top--somewhat thin in the middle and very thick on the sides where they didn't level the cake off--far from "Perfect!" :) It sure was tasty though.

Yes, I really did play hockey with Jacob--in my nice long skirt and fuzzy hooded jacket. :) Most of the time, I got to be the goalee, so that was fun.

I'll let you know our opinion of "No Greater Love" when we watch it--maybe tonight. Andrew said that, if you go to the movies' website: you can watch the first 30 minutes of the movie!

Thanks for your fun comments and I'm very much looking forward to that package that you were telling me of (that my family is "In" on and I have no clue of...!)

Love you!

Cora Beth said...

My dear Hannah~
I figured that that's what you meant! :)

Yes, I was surprised and very pleased with my big present!!! What kind of fish would you want to get if you got one to put in a bowl? When we went to the pet store, we were all amazed and overwhelmed by the many different kinds of fish there were to choose from... I think I'll start out with some Tetras though, as the lady there said they're very hardy and hard to kill even if you're trying! :)

My cake is nearly gone now, and I'm not sure if it will make it to my actual birthday or not.

Rechargeable batteries are so very nice to have. Andrew found a good place to buy them from in bulk (I can ask him where that was if you'd like to know,) as we all use them for our cameras and other things that need batteries.

I'm very glad to hear your thumb is recovering--without duct-tape... :) I've never sprained or broken anything, but can imagine it would be very painful!

Wow--no wonder maple syrup is so expensive to buy! I had no idea it took so much sap to get a little bit of pure syrup. My dad was surprised too righ now as he read your comment. What do you do with the 50+ gallons of other stuff (I'm not sure what it's called) once you have gotten the syrup out of it?

Well, I hope your card turned out well and that you have a wonderful time at the baby shower later!

Be blessed~

Hannah said...

When you boil sap all the water evaporates until it is just syrup left. So all the stem just goes out into the air. We have a cupola on our sugarhouse to let all the steam out.
If you are not careful it can burn. Or you can boil the syrup watching it carefully and either make sugar or candy out of it.
A good way to explain the way it is, is it's just like if you were to devolve sugar in water and then boil in down into either sugar syrup or make candy out of it.
It is a very interesting and fun process. I a sure yo would love doing it! My brothers just boiled some eggs in the sap. We do that sometimes. We know some people that put hotdogs in their boiling sap but we don't like to do that because then it is not very pure. But eggs don't do anything to it!
Okay my sister is going to be here any minute to pick us up and I need to go!
Sugar maple sap is just sugar water =D!

Rachel said...

Dear Cora

First of all, I'm SO happy that you are feeling better and have recovered in time so that you can enjoy your birthday!

Secondly, this is such a nice post, I enjoyed reading all about your day in Bismarck. If I haven't mentioned it before, my parents, sister and I looked it up on the map and read up a bit on the net - Now I have a better idea where you are situated! :)

I love your new fish tank! It brings back memories of when we had a tank of our own. There is something wonderfully restful and relaxing watching fish gliding about and it's really like a little window into another world.

You probably know this, but it's a good idea to choose a variety of fish that live at different 'levels' in the tank. I agree that the tetra are good to start with - very hardy! We had a small school of Neon Tetras and they were such lively energetic little things, always dashing around! They are also bright and colourful. They almost always stayed in the top level of the tank.

Then we had Marigold Swordfish. These would sometimes join the tetra right at the top level, but also frequented the mid-level of the tank. They are fun to watch as they are calmer than the tetra and don't dash about so much, but do enjoy playing with one another, like a game of tag! :)

In the beginning we also had angel fish and these can be beautiful and glide so gracefully through the water or pick up terrific speed and even leap out of the tank if the lids not on!! Unlike there name though, we found them to be very aggressive at times and would 'bully' the other fish. I don't know how hardy Angels generally are but ours didn't last long and soon surcomed. :(

Our favourites were the loaches though. We had a pair of Clown Loaches and of all our fish, we were most attatched to these two. They were highly entertaining and seemed to have personalities of their own. They are bottom dwellers and also help keep the tank clean as they eat algae and often reminded me of vacumn-cleaners making their way along the gravel or glass. They had a little house that they slept in and although they got on well with the other fish, they were possessive over their house!! At times they'd be very playful and also make a wild dash for the top of the tank and you'd hear a 'plopping' noise as they surfaced and the dived straight down again. I can really recommend these fish - but bear in mind that they grow to abour 6 inches and can live up to 15 years old.

Whatever fish you do decide to fill your tank with, I'm sure they'll bring much pleasure to you and the family and I look forward to reading all about it! :)

God bless and lots of love,